This week the public will be offered a glimpse of how some SUNY Cortland students painted, sculpted and videotaped their artistic expressions during the COVID-19 pandemic away from campus.
Starting on Friday, June 5, the university’s Dowd Gallery will host “Art from Isolation," a two-dimensional, virtual exhibition posted as a series of images on the gallery website through the end of summer.
The gallery currently is closed to the public. The virtual exhibition was established in direct response to the cancellation of physical shows, including the “Student Select 2020.
The collection of images will be posted on the Dowd Gallery website and social media at 4 p.m. that day as a part of First Friday, an event organized by the Cultural Council of Cortland County.
“The diversity of submissions, from drawings, ceramics, paintings, and photography, is a testament to unwavering creativity, inspiration, and empathy that art provides in times of distress,” said Dowd Gallery director Jaroslava Prihodova.
As the semester drew to a close, and students were no longer able to meet on campus, she had asked students to send in pictures of their work in the form of digital images so she could share them with the campus and community during the planned future display.
“For the past several months, our students, the members of SUNY Cortland campus, and the world at large were facing many challenges and hardships,” Prihodova said. “As we all felt disoriented and experienced a loss of community, the Dowd Gallery wanted to remedy the consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic in a small way. ‘Art from Isolation ‘ offers SUNY Cortland students a creative release in the time of uncertainty and social separation.”
The gallery sought works including animation, graphic design, video, land art, installation, mural, objects, ceramics, sculpture, fiber art, mixed media projects, sculpture, design, prints, photographs, painting, drawing, illustration, collage, jewelry and DIY projects.
In response, more than 30 students with different majors ranging from criminology to studio arts, from English to business economics, sent more than 70 images of artworks. A list of students who participated will be posted on the gallery website.
“I am very impressed by the level of quality of the submitted works,” Prihodova said. “Even with limited involvement of faculty members from the Art and Art History Department, our students demonstrated that they could implement gained skills, follow directions and advice remotely and still be proud of their work.”
Prihodova then met with Art and Art History Department faculty to determine the timing and scope of the summer exhibition.
“As a result of the wide interest, I decided to extend the invitation to submit artwork for the online show until the end of the summer,” she said. “That way, we can have a more dynamic content going over the next few weeks and months.”
The slideshow will be archived and always accessible to patrons.
“We feel that it is crucial to stay connected and show support for our students even when the school is not in session,” Prohodova said. “The virtual exhibition will remain a permanent fixture in the annual Dowd Gallery's program going forward.
“I hope this idea of the virtual showcase will flourish in the future and keep our students active in the SUNY Cortland community."
Participants may submit work to her email address with the subject line, Art from Isolation.
For those who have yet to participate, work from all majors is welcome and there is no limit to the number of works each student can submit. Creative current students may submit their original piece of artwork produced during the quarantine in the form of a jpg image, sized at 72 dots per inch (DPI). When submitting their piece, participants are asked to include their name, graduating class and major; the artwork’s title, medium, dimension and location where the individual created the object. Photographs of 3D works should be captured on a neutral background, preferably on a white backdrop. Make sure the image is clear, the object in focus and centered in the frame and without unnecessary clutter.
Two professional staff members with the university’s Marketing Department, Renee Novelli, senior visual media specialist, and Casey Hickey, senior web and digital marketing specialist, will help prepare the images for the slide show on the gallery’s website.
For more information on making a submission, contact Prihodova.
Above left image: Jacob Robinson, a junior dual major in BFA and new communication media with a minor in graphic design and digital media, submitted this untitled 2020 black and white digital image for display in the exhibition.